26 Feb 2020

Auckland water use records broken three times in a week

11:29 am on 26 February 2020

Watercare is asking Aucklanders to rein in their water use as consumption levels skyrocket.

Mangatangi Dam (Watercare’s largest dam), showing low water levels, in the Hunua Ranges.

Mangatangi Dam (Watercare’s largest dam), showing low water levels, in the Hunua Ranges. Photo: Supplied / Watercare

It said city water restrictions may be in place in April if the hot and dry weather continues.

Records for how much water is used in the region were broken three times last week, with Aucklanders using more than 560 million litres in just one day.

Watercare's head of water value, Roseline Klein, described the water use as colossal and said it was putting a huge strain on Auckland's water treatment plants and networks.

"Almost all of our water treatment plants are working at maximum capacity 24/7 in order to treat and distribute water at a faster rate than it's being used," she said.

"This is challenging to sustain day-after-day.

"We have also changed the way we operate our treated water storage reservoirs to ensure there is more water stored in local suburbs in case of an unplanned outage at a treatment plant (e.g. a power outage).

"Water is precious, especially in a drought. We all need to use it wisely so that we can reduce the likelihood of formal restrictions should the dry weather continue."

Possible restrictions were still at least a month away, she said.

"We're not putting restrictions in place just now because the levels in the dams are still stable," she said. "However, if the hot and dry weather that we have was to carry on for a few more weeks, in April we would need to consider being a bit stronger and having restrictions.

"It's a dynamic situation, if we suddenly have a tropical cyclone in a couple of weeks the situation will become a lot easier, so what we're wanting to say to Aucklanders is while this really hot and dry weather lasts, let's all be very mindful of our water use - cut irrigation if we can, have four-minute showers, reduce the non-necessary usage such as washing the car - and industry, also, if they can help us this way."

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